Ex-employee of Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital gets bail in alleged N13.3m fraud
A Federal High Court in Benin, Edo State has granted bail to a former staff of the Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Kennedy Osamwonyi Oriakhi.
The presiding Judge, Justice P. I. Ajuku, while ruling on the bail application by the defendant’s counsel, O.A. Otamere, argued that bail was the defendant’s fundamental right, as long as he was not charged with a capital offence.
Justice Ajuku afterwards granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1 million and two sureties in like sum.
The court further held that the sureties must be civil servants on grade level 12 and above and must own a landed property with a valid Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).
The defendant is standing trial in a five-count charge of money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He is alleged to have defrauded the hospital’s staff Multipurpose Co-operative Society of N13.3 million.
The court remanded the accused person in prison after he was arraigned on the orders of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In the suit No: FHC/B/79c/2017, the prosecuting counsel, C. A. Okoli, told the court that the defendant had in his capacity as the former President of the Psychiatric Hospital staff Multipurpose Co-operative Society Limited committed the offence on February 20, 2015.
Okoli said the accused first transferred the money to companies that were non-members of the society and later appropriated sum to his personal account.
The prosecuting counsel pointed out that the defendant, therefore, committed an offence contrary to section 15 and punishable under section 15 (3) of the money laundering prohibition Act 2011 as amended.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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